Spring Forward

Image from Flickr by Saskia Jansen

Image from Flickr by Saskia Jansen

April is fast approaching, a month with two important dates for me that mark the end of some major projects I began last spring. One of the dates is April 29, when I will graduate from college with my bachelor’s degree in English. The other is April 22, when edits for What Was Never There will (finally!) be completed.

I can say that with confidence because April 22 is not a self-imposed deadline that I can simply extend. To graduate from my degree program, I’m required to take a capstone course for which I choose a culminating project that showcases what I’ve learned—I’ve chosen the final draft of What Was Never There as my project, and that final draft must be turned in to my instructor and classmates in six weeks.

It’s a relief, because I struggled last semester with finding time and creative energy to devote to this second book while balancing homework, and now my second book is homework. It’s also a relief because I at first assumed that my capstone project would have to be the standard 30- or 40-page research paper, and I was dreading it. In January, I learned that I could choose a creative writing project over the research paper and that it could be a work already in progress.

I’ve yet to decide whether to continue school and earn my teaching certificate. If I go that route it would only take one more year, and classes would be at the community college level. Much cheaper! I’ve dreamed of becoming a teacher since my son’s kindergarten year, when I spent a significant amount of time volunteering in his classroom. I’m well aware, however, that it is an extraordinarily tough job, and that good teachers live and breathe their work (and are vastly underappreciated). It’s definitely not a career choice to be taken lightly.

In other news, I had a lovely time reading a birthday-themed story for this year’s Canal Convergence, which was the 30-year anniversary celebration of Scottsdale Public Art. Phoenix New Times co-sponsored the storytelling event, and I was flattered when they asked me to be one of their five readers. The evening was a blast. The story I wrote is called “Still Waters,” and I hope in the near future to have it published so I can share it with those of you who couldn’t be there.

Although I haven’t had much success with my latest round of short story submissions, I received a nice surprise recently when the managing editor of Hospital Drive emailed to ask if she could include my story “The Distance Ratio” in a “Best of” print edition. Of course I said yes, and I’ll let everyone know when ordering information is available!

Finally, thanks for sticking with me these past few months as I cut back drastically on my social media-ing. Now that I’m almost done with school (SEVEN WEEKS!), I’m looking forward to posting more, including sharing some wonderful and inspiring writerly news from several friends (and one very special family member). 🙂